Hearing the Shofar’s Cry in the Jerusalem of Lithuania

October 2, 2019

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I spend a lot of time in cemeteries. It’s part of the gig: I’m a rabbi. And my Hebrew name — Avraham Yitzhak — is common enough that I often see myself on gravestones, an eerie reminder of the liturgy we’ll recite this Rosh Hashana: “A man’s origin and end is from dust.”

But last month, I came face to face with my actual name: Avram Mlotek. There it was, on a stone right next to that bearing the name of my grandfather, Joseph Mlotek.

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Photograph of small candles burning inside glass candle holders fading into the darkness in the background. 11 candles can be seen but the image is faded the further from the center it goes with mainly the 4 candles in the middle being distinctively detailed. Each candle gives off an orange light inside the container while the flame itself is a yellowish white. Some of the candle holders are tilted slightly and seem to be part-way sunk into the ground. The background of the image is pitch black.Dr. Michelle Friedman Main Speaker at Philadelphia's City Hall Tree of Life Commemoration